How to Safely Store Your Essential Oils and Blends for Easy Use
Before I began devouring information about essential oils like it was my job, I had started creating a few simple "products" for myself and my family. But here's how that would go.
My daughter needs to wind down after a hard day and I'm worried about teething pain keeping her up, so before her bedtime, I grab a little plastic lid, put some coconut oil in it and a drop of lavender, mix it, and apply it to the bottoms of her feet and a touch on her upper body so she can smell it as she falls asleep. This oily lid stays on her changing table for a couple days. Sometimes I use it again, other times I'm too worried it could be contaminated, or I knock it off the table altogether and then scoop it out into the trash.
There were lots of situations like this, and it got to the point where I'd have several little plastic lids sitting around the house. I knew this wasn't exactly the best way to go about things. I also had another problem. I wanted to diffuse about two or even three different blends of oils at different times of the day. I didn't know how to accomplish that without things getting awkward or just plain wasteful.
Thankfully, my friend and Young Living sponsor, Heather, straightened me out on a few points, and the internet filled in the gaps. So, here are a few things I learned about storing not only the bottles of essential oils themselves, but products, blends, and even diffuser mixes. It turns out a few simple guidelines will keep your oils in top shape, as well as convenient and safe to use.
Storing Essential Oils
- Oils should come in amber glass bottles. If you transfer oils to another bottle for samples, or mix them, etc. you should also store them in amber (or cobalt blue) glass bottles with an airtight lid. EOs should come with a plastic topper called an orifice reducer that allows us to pour them out by the drop. You can store your synergies in these bottles as well, of course.
- Don't store pure essential oils in plastic or rubber. When these materials come into contact with essential oils, they can deteriorate.
- Store your EOs in a dark, dry, cool place. Light, moisture, and heat can cause an oil to oxidize. You will be able to tell if it becomes cloudy, thickens, or smells acidic.
- Young Living essential oils do not expire and will stand the test of time when stored in the conditions I just described. If you create your own products, be aware of the expiration date of any carriers you use. If you use another EO brand, look for an expiration date on the bottle or contact the manufacturer.
- Get a case for your at home and travel needs. If you have even a small collection of oils, you're going to want a sturdy, convenient way to store them and keep them protected. For storing a larger collection at home, I'd recommend buying a wooden box, but Young Living makes a perfect smaller case for on-the-go needs and travel. You can check out all accessories here.
Storing Skin ProductsOne of the best ways to use essential oils is to apply them to the skin. Here's how to store those lovely products (any mix of EOs and a carrier) you create. You may also want to check out my post on how to dilute essential oils for the skin.
- Products for topical application are best stored in dark glass containers. If you make a blend often, buy a few containers so that you'll have that soothing cream, body oil, or respiratory salve on hand. (Trust me! You don't want to end up with weird plastic lids all over your house.) There are some great choices on Amazon in a range of sizes and shapes for any homemade product.
- Blends that are no more than 3% and that aren't going to be stored long-term are generally ok in PET plastic (recycle symbol 1). This may be best in situations where there's a concern about glass breaking. PET plastic has a high permeability resistance rating.
Storing Diffuser BlendsI've honestly never heard anyone mention this, and I have taken several different classes and I listen to top experts in aromatherapy all the time...so take this for what you will, but here are my thoughts.
When I would like to change out the blend of distilled water and essential oil in my diffusers before it's been used up, I pour the mix I want to save and reuse later into a glass cup, cover it with aluminum foil, label it with tape, and put it in the fridge.
The refrigerator is the best place to store hydrosols (the aromatic water that is produced in the process of distilling plant materials), because they are water and need to be kept fresh. The fridge is also perfect for essential oils too, to safeguard against heat and light. So I think the conditions are just right for keeping diffuser blends of water and EOs fresh, especially because I diffuse often. It's not airtight, and it's not perfect, but it has been working wonderfully for me. When I'm ready to change things up, I swab my diffuser with alcohol and let it dry before pouring in my new mix.
Hopefully this information made your life a lot easier. Happy diffusing, creating with, and using your essential oils!